By Gillie Houston, Special to the Chronicle
In Cui Fei’s Re-Interpreting Nature, New Work show, open now at Hofstra’s Rosenberg Gallery, the artist uses images and artifacts from nature to evoke language through her literal “writings on the wall.” Departing from the typical artistic mediums of paint and clay, Cui uses twigs, thorns, and other natural elements to create her own organic calligraphy on the gallery walls and large sheets of paper. Each work creates from a distance the effect of a scribbled note, taking on a more natural form only upon closer observation of the piece. Though the artwork is predominantly comprised of organic elements, the artist also uses wire to mirror the shapes of the twigs, lending a slightly more polished, urban feel to the nature-driven show.
Cui Fei, a successful artist who has opened gallery shows everywhere from Beijing to New York brings her language evoking pieces to life on the Hofstra gallery walls. Cui was born and raised in China and earned her BFA in painting at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts and her Masters of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, before pursuing her current nature-based medium. Mirroring her Chinese upbringing, the artist’s pieces reflect traditional Taoist tradition, which focuses on nature being in harmony with humanity.
The pieces on display at the Rosenberg gallery throughout October will give students a feel for Cui Fei’s work and her philosophy that “there are messages in nature…waiting to be discovered and read,” as she stated in a 2006 interview. It is this message that Cui puts on display in her Reinterpreting Nature works, using the instruments of nature together with the elements of language to create a harmonious effect between the two.
Cui Fei’s Reinterpreting Nature, New Work will be on display though October 26th, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rosenburg Gallery in Calkins Hall.